Morris-Suzuki in East Asia Forum: “Abe’s WWII statement fails history 101”. Required reading on GOJ’s subtle attempts at rewriting East Asian history incorrectly

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Hi Blog. I had a couple of other topics to bring up (for example, this one), but this essay was too timely and important to pass up. Required reading. First the analysis, then the full original statement by PM Abe being analyzed.  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito

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Abe’s WWII statement fails history 101
East Asia Forum, 18 August 2015
Author: Professor Tessa Morris-Suzuki, ANU
Version with links to sources at http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2015/08/18/abes-wwii-statement-fails-history-101/

As the clock ticked down to the 70th anniversary of the end of the Asia Pacific War, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faced a dilemma. His right-wing supporters were pushing him to produce a commemorative statement that would move away from the apologetic approach of his predecessors and ‘restore Japan’s pride’. Moderates, Asian neighbours and (most importantly) the US government were pushing him to uphold the earlier apologies issued by former prime ministers Tomiichi Murayama and Junichiro Koizumi. Most of the media anticipation centred around the wording of the forthcoming Abe statement. Would it, like the Murayama Statement of 1995 and the Koizumi Statement of 2005, include the words ‘apology’ (owabi) and aggression (shinryaku)?

Abe’s response to this dilemma was clever. First, he established a committee of hand-picked ‘experts’ to provide a report locating Japan’s wartime past in the broad sweep of 20th-century history. Then, drawing heavily on their report, he produced a statement that was more than twice the length of those issued by his predecessors. His statement, to the relief of many observers, did use the words ‘apology’ and ‘aggression’. In fact, it is almost overladen with all the right words: ‘we must learn from the lessons of history’; ‘our country inflict immeasurable damage and suffering’; ‘deep repentance’; ‘deep remorse and heartfelt apology’; ‘we will engrave in our hearts the past’.

But, focusing on the vocabulary, some observers failed to notice that Abe had embedded these words in a narrative of Japanese history that was entirely different from the one that underpinned previous prime ministerial statements. That is why his statement is so much longer than theirs. So which past is the Abe statement engraving in the hearts of Japanese citizens?

The story presented in Abe’s statement goes like this. Western colonial expansionism forced Japan to modernise, which it did with remarkable success. Japan’s victory in the Russo–Japanese War gave hope to the colonised peoples of the world. After World War I, there was a move to create a peaceful world order. Japan actively participated, but following the Great Depression, the Western powers created economic blocs based on their colonial empires. This dealt a ‘major blow’ to Japan. Forced into a corner, Japan ‘attempted to overcome its diplomatic and economic deadlock through the use of force’. The result was the 1931 Manchurian Incident, Japan’s withdrawal from the League of Nations, and everything that followed. ‘Japan took the wrong course and advanced along the road to war’.

The narrative of war that Abe presents leads naturally to the lessons that he derives from history. Nations should avoid the use of force to break ‘deadlock’. They should promote free trade so that economic blocs will never again become a cause of war. And they should avoid challenging the international order.

The problem with Abe’s new narrative is that it is historically wrong. This is perhaps not surprising, since the committee of experts on whom he relied included only four historians in its 16 members. And its report, running to some 31 pages, contains less than a page about the causes and events of the Asia Pacific War.

In effect, the Abe narrative of history looks like an exam script where the student has accidentally misread the question. He has answered the question about the reasons for Japan’s invasion of Manchuria with an answer that should go with the question about the reasons for the attack on Pearl Harbor.

There is widespread consensus that the immediate cause for Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was the stranglehold on Japan created by imperial protectionism and economic blockade by the Western powers. But there is equal consensus that the reasons for the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, and for the outbreak of full-scale war in China in 1937, were different and much more complex.

Key factors at work in 1931 were the troubled relationship between the Japanese military and the civilian government; Japan’s desire for resources, transport routes and living space; rising nationalism in an economically and socially troubled Japan; and corruption and instability in Northeastern China. By the time Japan launched its full scale invasion of China in 1937, global protectionism was becoming a larger issue. But even then, other issues like Japan’s desire to protect its massive investments in China from the rising forces of Chinese nationalism were paramount.

Economic historians note that the Japanese empire was the first to take serious steps towards imperial protectionism. The slide into global protectionism had barely started at the time of the Manchurian Incident. Britain did not create its imperial preference system until 1932. The economic blockade that strangled the Japanese economy in 1940–41 was the response to Japan’s invasion of China, not its cause.

This is not academic quibbling. These things really matter, and vividly illustrate why historical knowledge is vital to any understanding of contemporary international affairs.

The Abe narrative of history fails to address the causes and nature of Japan’s colonisation of Taiwan (in 1895) and Korea (in 1910), and ignores the large presence of Japanese troops in China long before 1931. It says to China: ‘Sorry we invaded you, but those other guys painted us into a corner’. It offers an untenable explanation for Japan’s actions, and blurs the distinction between aggressive and defensive behaviour. Western media commentators who haven’t studied Japanese history may not pick up these flaws in the narrative, but Chinese and South Korean observers (who have their own, sometimes profoundly problematic, versions of this history) will instantly see them and rightly object.

Engraving a factually flawed story of the past in people’s hearts is not going to solve East Asia’s problems, and risks making them worse. Worse still, the Abe statement is generating deeply divergent responses in the countries where East Asian history is not widely taught (most notably the United States) and those where it is (South Korea, China and Japan itself), thus creating even deeper divisions in our already too divided world.

Professor Tessa Morris-Suzuki is an ARC Laureate Fellow based at the School of Culture, History and Language, at the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University.
ENDS
=======================================

OFFICIAL TRANSLATION OF ABE SHINZO’S STATEMENT

Statement by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Friday, August 14, 2015
http://japan.kantei.go.jp/97_abe/statement/201508/0814statement.html

On the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, we must calmly reflect upon the road to war, the path we have taken since it ended, and the era of the 20th century. We must learn from the lessons of history the wisdom for our future.

More than one hundred years ago, vast colonies possessed mainly by the Western powers stretched out across the world. With their overwhelming supremacy in technology, waves of colonial rule surged toward Asia in the 19th century. There is no doubt that the resultant sense of crisis drove Japan forward to achieve modernization. Japan built a constitutional government earlier than any other nation in Asia. The country preserved its independence throughout. The Japan-Russia War gave encouragement to many people under colonial rule from Asia to Africa.

After World War I, which embroiled the world, the movement for self-determination gained momentum and put brakes on colonization that had been underway. It was a horrible war that claimed as many as ten million lives. With a strong desire for peace stirred in them, people founded the League of Nations and brought forth the General Treaty for Renunciation of War. There emerged in the international community a new tide of outlawing war itself.

At the beginning, Japan, too, kept steps with other nations. However, with the Great Depression setting in and the Western countries launching economic blocs by involving colonial economies, Japan’s economy suffered a major blow. In such circumstances, Japan’s sense of isolation deepened and it attempted to overcome its diplomatic and economic deadlock through the use of force. Its domestic political system could not serve as a brake to stop such attempts. In this way, Japan lost sight of the overall trends in the world.

With the Manchurian Incident, followed by the withdrawal from the League of Nations, Japan gradually transformed itself into a challenger to the new international order that the international community sought to establish after tremendous sacrifices. Japan took the wrong course and advanced along the road to war.

And, seventy years ago, Japan was defeated.

On the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, I bow my head deeply before the souls of all those who perished both at home and abroad. I express my feelings of profound grief and my eternal, sincere condolences.

More than three million of our compatriots lost their lives during the war: on the battlefields worrying about the future of their homeland and wishing for the happiness of their families; in remote foreign countries after the war, in extreme cold or heat, suffering from starvation and disease. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the air raids on Tokyo and other cities, and the ground battles in Okinawa, among others, took a heavy toll among ordinary citizens without mercy.

Also in countries that fought against Japan, countless lives were lost among young people with promising futures. In China, Southeast Asia, the Pacific islands and elsewhere that became the battlefields, numerous innocent citizens suffered and fell victim to battles as well as hardships such as severe deprivation of food. We must never forget that there were women behind the battlefields whose honour and dignity were severely injured.

Upon the innocent people did our country inflict immeasurable damage and suffering. History is harsh. What is done cannot be undone. Each and every one of them had his or her life, dream, and beloved family. When I squarely contemplate this obvious fact, even now, I find myself speechless and my heart is rent with the utmost grief.

The peace we enjoy today exists only upon such precious sacrifices. And therein lies the origin of postwar Japan.

We must never again repeat the devastation of war.

Incident, aggression, war — we shall never again resort to any form of the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes. We shall abandon colonial rule forever and respect the right of self-determination of all peoples throughout the world.

With deep repentance for the war, Japan made that pledge. Upon it, we have created a free and democratic country, abided by the rule of law, and consistently upheld that pledge never to wage a war again. While taking silent pride in the path we have walked as a peace-loving nation for as long as seventy years, we remain determined never to deviate from this steadfast course.

Japan has repeatedly expressed the feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for its actions during the war. In order to manifest such feelings through concrete actions, we have engraved in our hearts the histories of suffering of the people in Asia as our neighbours: those in Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines, and Taiwan, the Republic of Korea and China, among others; and we have consistently devoted ourselves to the peace and prosperity of the region since the end of the war.

Such position articulated by the previous cabinets will remain unshakable into the future.

However, no matter what kind of efforts we may make, the sorrows of those who lost their family members and the painful memories of those who underwent immense sufferings by the destruction of war will never be healed.

Thus, we must take to heart the following.

The fact that more than six million Japanese repatriates managed to come home safely after the war from various parts of the Asia-Pacific and became the driving force behind Japan’s postwar reconstruction; the fact that nearly three thousand Japanese children left behind in China were able to grow up there and set foot on the soil of their homeland again; and the fact that former POWs of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Australia and other nations have visited Japan for many years to continue praying for the souls of the war dead on both sides.

How much emotional struggle must have existed and what great efforts must have been necessary for the Chinese people who underwent all the sufferings of the war and for the former POWs who experienced unbearable sufferings caused by the Japanese military in order for them to be so tolerant nevertheless?

That is what we must turn our thoughts to reflect upon.

Thanks to such manifestation of tolerance, Japan was able to return to the international community in the postwar era. Taking this opportunity of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, Japan would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to all the nations and all the people who made every effort for reconciliation.

In Japan, the postwar generations now exceed eighty per cent of its population. We must not let our children, grandchildren, and even further generations to come, who have nothing to do with that war, be predestined to apologize. Still, even so, we Japanese, across generations, must squarely face the history of the past. We have the responsibility to inherit the past, in all humbleness, and pass it on to the future.

Our parents’ and grandparents’ generations were able to survive in a devastated land in sheer poverty after the war. The future they brought about is the one our current generation inherited and the one we will hand down to the next generation. Together with the tireless efforts of our predecessors, this has only been possible through the goodwill and assistance extended to us that transcended hatred by a truly large number of countries, such as the United States, Australia, and European nations, which Japan had fiercely fought against as enemies.

We must pass this down from generation to generation into the future. We have the great responsibility to take the lessons of history deeply into our hearts, to carve out a better future, and to make all possible efforts for the peace and prosperity of Asia and the world.

We will engrave in our hearts the past, when Japan attempted to break its deadlock with force. Upon this reflection, Japan will continue to firmly uphold the principle that any disputes must be settled peacefully and diplomatically based on the respect for the rule of law and not through the use of force, and to reach out to other countries in the world to do the same. As the only country to have ever suffered the devastation of atomic bombings during war, Japan will fulfil its responsibility in the international community, aiming at the non-proliferation and ultimate abolition of nuclear weapons.

We will engrave in our hearts the past, when the dignity and honour of many women were severely injured during wars in the 20th century. Upon this reflection, Japan wishes to be a country always at the side of such women’s injured hearts. Japan will lead the world in making the 21st century an era in which women’s human rights are not infringed upon.

We will engrave in our hearts the past, when forming economic blocs made the seeds of conflict thrive. Upon this reflection, Japan will continue to develop a free, fair and open international economic system that will not be influenced by the arbitrary intentions of any nation. We will strengthen assistance for developing countries, and lead the world toward further prosperity. Prosperity is the very foundation for peace. Japan will make even greater efforts to fight against poverty, which also serves as a hotbed of violence, and to provide opportunities for medical services, education, and self-reliance to all the people in the world.

We will engrave in our hearts the past, when Japan ended up becoming a challenger to the international order. Upon this reflection, Japan will firmly uphold basic values such as freedom, democracy, and human rights as unyielding values and, by working hand in hand with countries that share such values, hoist the flag of “Proactive Contribution to Peace,” and contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world more than ever before.

Heading toward the 80th, the 90th and the centennial anniversary of the end of the war, we are determined to create such a Japan together with the Japanese people.

August 14, 2015
Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan
ENDS

18 comments on “Morris-Suzuki in East Asia Forum: “Abe’s WWII statement fails history 101”. Required reading on GOJ’s subtle attempts at rewriting East Asian history incorrectly

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    The english speaking world really needs to get over their fear of China, and stop encouraging Abe to make more trouble.

    Reply
  • Jim di Griz says:

    Actually, re; my above, ‘encouraging Abe’ is the wrong phrase. Should have said ‘facilitating Abe’s mental illness’.

    Reply
  • Loverilakkuma says:

    I agree 100% on this. Abe’s recent speech invokes what Dr. Denise Bostodorff called “the grotesque”– an ancient, poetic style that produces odd, incongruent combinations of symbols and structure that produce no transcendent meaning. Kind of speech you see in when a national leader deliberately mis-characterizes the rhetorical context of historical event, crisis– or its anniversary–, like Richard Nixon’s problematic description of Cambodian Crisis in 1970.

    Reply
  • Jim di Griz says:

    Excellent article by Jeff Kingston points out historical flaws in Abe’s speech, and points out that a distorted right-wing revisionist incorrect version of history is now Japan’s official international position;

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2015/08/22/commentary/abes-revisionism-japans-divided-war-memories/

    For me, one of the best things about this article is that Kingston picks up on this often repeated right-wing trope that (to paraphrase) ‘we enjoy our present peace and prosperity thanks to Japanese soldiers who died’. This is a revolting perversion of truth. Modern Japan’s peace is totally inspite of Japanese military deaths, not because of it.
    Of course, Abe will never say ‘All those soldiers and civilians died for the vain pride of my Grandfather. On his behalf, I’d like to offer my thanks to you all! We are still a rich family controlling your lives!’.

    Reply
  • Debito,

    I saw this on Arirang TV. it looks like Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto has criticized Shinzo Abe’s recent statement:

    http://www.arirang.com/News/News_View.asp?nseq=182618

    Criticism is rising within Japan, following Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s war-end anniversary statement earlier this month, which failed to offer a clear apology for the country’s colonial rule and past aggression before and during World War Two.

    Osaka City Mayor Toru Hashimoto said on Sunday that Japan must clearly express feelings of remorse and apology to Korea and China who were victims of Japanese invasion.

    The Japanese daily Sankei Shinmun reports that Hashimoto said Japanese politicians should continue to offer apologies, adding that it was not acceptable for the Abe adminstration to try and justify Japan’s past wartime atrocities. END

    Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ Mdo7 @ #5

    Great!
    Except that because it’s coming from Hashimoron, who demonstrated earlier this year (as I linked to on Debito.org) that he doesn’t have a clue what he ‘believes’ (denied comfort women a couple of years ago, forced to back-track over the international outcry, is now leading Osaka City’s campaign of pressure on San Francisco to remove Sex-slave memorial as racist and anti-Japanese) it is totally meaningless.

    Meaningless Hashimoto comment designed to make him controversial (and newsworthy) RIGHT NOW! with no connection (or irony) to anything he has said or done up to 60 seconds prior.

    Reply
  • The failure of history noted by Morris Suzuki is but one of the ways in which Abe’s speech was lacking. Although he expressed a desire for future generations of Japanese not to have to apologize for ‘the sins of their fathers,’ he completely failed to recognize the dynamics of how this might take place. Ie, Abe does not even remotely understand that for an apology to be effective, let alone perceived as sincere, the one doing the apologizing must also make amends for his past misdeeds. He expects that simply expressing remorse should be sufficient for the victim of Japan’s wartime aggression and colonialism to forgive Japan.

    Until Abe, or more likely a successor, realizes that Japan actually needs TO DO things to make up for its misdeeds it will continue to be viewed with suspicion by its neighbors. These things could include paying reparations to comfort women and other victims, building memorials or museums in honor of the victims, holding eommemorstive services, telling the truth in history textbooks, etc. Don’t hold your breath, however. Ain’t gonna happen with Abe or other like minded nationalists in power. To do these things would be seen as being disloyal to Kishi and the other leaders of the 1930’s who lead them down the wrong path.

    Reply
  • #7 Richard

    The problem with “remorse” is that it is not an apology, just regret at doing something. Rather like most Japanese fake bows/apologies are not for what they have done, but for being caught out and exposed! Just ask Olympus or Toyota execs for starters.

    It is a funny coincidence, a good article by Mariko Oi at the BBC here:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-33901966

    The many ways to say sorry in Japanese…clearly he is using the same obfuscation in English. Classic Kabuki…but doesn’t realise outside of Japan no one cares about kabuki and thus his words are scrutinised deeply unlike in Japan. It is not going unnoticed at all.

    Reply
  • However, his speech got a large dose of endorsement from United States, Australia, UK, etc.

    This kind of endorsement may look recent, but not really. Japan has always gotten a blank check when it comes to historic amnesia. Japan has a serious complex about how the Western world thinks about Japan. If the west had ridiculed and lambasted the crap that Japan is attempting to pedal to its citizens long ago, Japan would not have gotten away with this for so long. But because the West approves, Japan is encouraged to go further and further into never never land.

    Reply
  • Baudrillard says:

    @ loverlilaskkuma, “incongruent combinations of symbols and structure that produce no transcendent meaning”- Abe is in the advanced denial stages of postmodern delusion:he twists still further the fictions taught to him by his grandfather. He must fervently believe what he is saying- why would he keep bringing it up?

    Short version of what I tried to post earlier no doubt not approved by Dr D. as too long/winding, but I think these parts are relevant to understanding Abe’s willful confusion of historical truths:
    :
    “The third stage masks the absence of a profound reality, where the simulacrum pretends to be a faithful copy, but it is a copy with no original. Signs and images claim to represent something real, but no representation is taking place and arbitrary images are merely suggested as things which they have no relationship to.
    The fourth stage is pure simulation, in which the simulacrum has no relationship to any reality whatsoever. Here, signs merely reflect other signs and any claim to reality on the part of images or signs is only of the order of other such claims. ”

    “even claims to reality are expected to be phrased in artificial, “hyperreal” terms. Any naïve pretension to reality as such is perceived as bereft of critical self-awareness, and thus as oversentimental.”

    That last bit reminds me of when an NJ (e.g. me) recently returned from abroad “steps out” of the acceptable J-hyperreal historical narrative, but is either berated, ignored or dismissed as “naive” (“dont believe Chinese propaganda”) by rightists in conversation.

    — For the record, I didn’t approve your previous comment before because it didn’t make much sense, even after three readings. This one isn’t much better. Let’s try harder to keep things reasonably comprehensible.

    Reply
  • Baudrillard says:

    Isnt Abe and Co’s obsession with revisionism Jorge Luis Borges idea? “In it, a great Empire created a map that was so detailed it was as large as the Empire itself. The actual map was expanded and destroyed as the Empire itself conquered or lost territory. When the Empire crumbled, all that was left was the map. ”
    “In Baudrillard’s rendition, it is conversely the map that people live in, the simulation of reality where the people of Empire spend their lives ensuring their place in the representation is properly circumscribed and detailed by the map-makers; conversely, it is reality that is crumbling away from disuse.”

    Sounds like Nihonjinron and the constant “ware ware nihonjin” searching for their rightful representation in the world, based on a reality that no longer exists.

    — Same problem as your last post. I see a shard of a point without any particular grounding in the current topic. Again, let’s try harder.

    Reply
  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ Dr. Debito, re: Baudrilard on Baudrillard @ # 10 & 11

    I think, what Baudeillard is saying that with regards to Abe, he is demonstrating Baudrillards theory in that;

    1. Abe believes in a ‘vision’ he has of Japan past.
    2. This vision isn’t based on Abe’s first hand experience of that Japan, but rather it is based on the ‘stories’ that his grandfather told him.
    3. Since his grandfather had a vested interest in not telling Abe the truth, the stories Abe heard were not accurate representations of pre-defeat Japan.

    Therefore;
    Kishi’s ‘vision’ of Japan that he gave Abe wasn’t realistic, it was a sanitized, embellished ‘copy’.
    Abe’s understanding of Kishi’s ‘Japan’ takes it one step further from reality by virtue of Abe’s, like dubbing a recording of a tape makes the copy lower quality- that is to say less accurate.
    Then, in top of that, Abe has loaded his own biases and fantasies onto the imperfect, incorrect recollection he has of Kishi’s inaccurate original stories.

    Abe’s imagined ‘beautiful Japan’ is a copy, of a misunderstood, abridged version of reality. Abe’s Japan never existed. The fact that he doesn’t understand this is the worrying part, as is how many willfully buy into the insanity of self-deception.

    IMHO.

    Now that’s more like it. Thanks.

    Reply
  • @ Jim Di Griz,

    Jim I know. That’s what made me scratch my head. Hashimoto denied Comfort women but yet openly denied Shinzo Abe’s statement and saying Japan should apologize to Korea and China for past wrongdoing in World War 2. I can’t tell why Hashimoto did that, but I could speculate change of heart or the denying comfort women was “an act” to please the Abe Administration. But I don’t know why he did that for.

    Reply
  • Debito, I apologize for the second post. But it’s related to Osaka Mayor, Hashimoto. It looks like he’s quitting Japan Innovation Party and forging an alliance with the opposition group, Democratic Party of Japan. Japan Today just talked about it:

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/hashimoto-matsui-quit-japan-innovation-party

    Japan Today-Hashimoto, Matsui quit Japan Innovation Party

    TOKYO —
    Japan’s second largest opposition party, Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party), suffered a setback on Thursday after party founders Toru Hashimoto and Ichiro Matsui announced they were leaving after a rift with the leadership.

    Hashimoto, who is mayor of Osaka, is the party’s supreme adviser, while Matsui, who is Osaka governor, also serves as a party adviser.

    The rift developed after Secretary-General Mito Kakizawa threw his support behind a candidate in the upcoming Sept 13 mayoral election in Yamagata. Matsui and Hashimoto wanted the party to support another candidate and demanded Kakizawa resign, but he refused.

    Japan Innovation Party members hold 40 seats in the lower house of the Diet and 11 in the upper house. Ten of them are close allies of Hashimoto, fueling speculation that they may also leave the party, Fuji TV reported.

    The two men have been at odds with the party leadership for some time. Hashimoto and Matsui have a close relationship with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but the party leadership has been trying to forge an alliance with the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan.

    Hashimoto said he will concentrate on regional politics until the end of the year when his term of office expires.

    *ARTICLE END*

    So it looks like Hashimoto is doing something beyond criticizing Shinzo Abe for not giving a proper apology to Korea and China. It looks like Hashimoto may have seen the light (or a change of heart), or he couldn’t bear with the whitewashing.

    Reply
  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ Mdo7 #15

    I think this;
    ‘So it looks like Hashimoto is doing something beyond criticizing Shinzo Abe for not giving a proper apology to Korea and China. It looks like Hashimoto may have seen the light (or a change of heart), or he couldn’t bear with the whitewashing.’

    is (unfortunately) wishful thinking.

    The LDP is a deeply conservative, change adverse, right-wing party for and by blue-blooded political aristocracy.
    The DPJ is for people who left the LDP because they felt that they weren’t getting a big enough cut of the pie (because they aren’t blue-blooded political aristocracy).
    So while the DPJ seems more egalitarian because it opposes the LDP’s blue-blooded political aristocracy, they are a perfect example of ‘a slave starts off demanding justice, and ends up wanting to wear a crown’.

    For NJ, and the Japanese masses, there is effectively no difference between the LDP and the DPJ.
    The DPJ, and all those they have recruited (like Hashimoto?) are simply would be self-entitled ‘erai hito’ wannabees whose hands are kept off the levers of power by the LDP and it’s political connections. The DPJ’s ‘revolution’ is for them, not for the people.

    Reply
  • @Jim #16,

    That is debatable with all due respect. But seeing Hashimoto quitting the party and trying to join the DPJ is somewhat significant. The DPJ was against Abe’s behavior and I’ll agree they won’t take NJ issues seriously but I’m not sure if this is any better Jim, but former PM Yukio Hatoyama did went to South Korea to apologize and pay respect at Seodaemun Prison History Hall.

    http://www.korea.net/NewsFocus/History/view?articleId=129298&pageIndex=1

    I also recalled the current leader of DPJ, Katsuya Okada apologize to South Korea and China for atrocities committed in WW2 back in 2010:

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/02/11/japan.korea.apology/

    He has also apologize again early of this month when he met President Park in South Korea:

    http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/search1/2603000000.html?cid=AEN20150803005451315

    The DPJ may not care about NJ, but I respect them for upholding apologies about World War 2. But back on topic, I’ll stick to my “wishful thinking” and hope something good come out of Hashimoto’s defection from Abe.

    Reply
  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ Mdo7 #17

    I don’t want to derail the thread, but I do want to respond to your last point.

    IMHO the DPJ wasn’t interested in making atonement for Japan’s war crimes. The DPJ was interested in making strong relationships with other regional powers- China and Korea.
    Why?
    Not for economic reasons, but to change the regional dynamics, and sideline the US.
    Sidelining the US from Japan was/is essential for breaking the most powerful dynamic working against the DPJ; the relationship between the US (read ‘CIA’), and the LDP (read ‘political blue bloods descended from war criminals the CIA got out of Sugamo prison, and the political dynasties they established) who have run Japan since the end of the war.
    The US side understands this, which is why they undermined Hatoyama.
    Kasumigaseki understands this which is why they undermined the DPJ.
    The J-media understands this which is why they undermined the DPJ.
    Abe understands this, hence his sense of self-entitlement (‘Taking Japan back!’ because it’s his?).

    The DPJ were out to break the CIA/LDP control of Japan, and replace it with an equally selfish and self-serving structure of thier own. Side by side, no difference of note between either of the power-mongers.

    Reply

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